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Foreword

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2023

Sufyan Abid Dogra
Affiliation:
Bradford Institute for Health Research
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Summary

There has been a Muslim presence in Britain since the sixteenth century, with Muslims arriving in substantial numbers around 300 years ago into port towns following their recruitment as sailors from South Asia by the East India Company. Yet, despite this long period of interaction, which included the colonisation by the British Empire of many predominantly Muslim countries, Islam and Muslims remain something of an enigma in Britain. This persistent lack of familiarity is disturbing and, more importantly, has consequences in many facets of life, including suboptimal healthcare provision and poor health outcomes among British Muslims.

Two decades ago I, together with my colleague Professor Abdul Rashid Gatrad, co-edited Caring for Muslim Patients (Radcliffe Publishing, 2008) in which we attempted to provide an insider’s perspective for healthcare professionals of the rich, complex, multifaceted relationship between Islam and health as experienced by British Muslims. Our hope was (and remains) that a deeper appreciation of this worldview would enable emergence of more culturally sensitive, personalised approaches to healthcare delivery and health promotion than had hitherto been the case.

Much has changed over the past twenty years, including the emergence of a large, increasingly diverse and more educated, financially secure and assertive British Muslim community, but as the contributors to British Muslims, Ethnicity and Health Inequalities remind us, many challenges persist. Dr Dogra and colleagues highlight in particular the complexities resulting from people of faith trying to navigate an essentially secular healthcare system. Added to this are the adverse health effects, whether direct or indirect, resulting from experiencing racial and religious discrimination, and the lack of voice and agency still often afforded to Muslims in identifying their own health goals and priorities. The contributors to this book lament the many missed opportunities for engaging with religious institutions and structures in intersectional ways to support the delivery of healthcare and the development of key health promotional interventions. Helpfully, they also offer some more promising examples of grassroots initiatives such as the emergence of Islamic counselling and pain management services, and detailed case studies of the British Islamic Medical Association’s Lifesavers initiative and the work of Bradford’s Council of Mosques in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Foreword
  • Edited by Sufyan Abid Dogra, Bradford Institute for Health Research
  • Book: British Muslims, Ethnicity and Health Inequalities
  • Online publication: 18 October 2023
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  • Foreword
  • Edited by Sufyan Abid Dogra, Bradford Institute for Health Research
  • Book: British Muslims, Ethnicity and Health Inequalities
  • Online publication: 18 October 2023
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Foreword
  • Edited by Sufyan Abid Dogra, Bradford Institute for Health Research
  • Book: British Muslims, Ethnicity and Health Inequalities
  • Online publication: 18 October 2023
Available formats
×